Vaguely phrased anti-terrorist laws make it possible for the government to stifle critical voices from all spheres of society. The seventh issue of the Dissident Blog is wholly dedicated to presenting recent political developments in the country. People whose voices they share have paid a high price for maintaining the struggle to both reveal and to discuss the Turkish regime’s lack of respect for democracy and for the freedom of speech. In his introductory note Ola Larsmo, Swedish PEN, writes:
“It is therefore of vital importance that we understand how the movement towards democracy in Turkey is being threatened. Those who are best at explaining the situation are of course the country’s own authors and writers. In this issue of the Dissident Blog we have tried to collect a spectra of different perspectives on the situation in Turkey: from Muhsin Kizilkaya’s eagle-eyed overview of the modern history of the freedom of speech in the country to the young film director Mizgin Müjde Arslan’s own testimony of the consequences of dealing with sensitive topics in film.”
The changes has also affected PEN directly as the Istanbul Public Prosecuter's Office yesterday (Jan 10th) launched an investigation against the PEN Turkey Board for insult to the State (under the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code). Please read more about this case here.